The other side of the great unknown

By Hunter S. Ford

Sara Evans is pretty as sunshine and Jay Barker is as goofy as a football bat.

The other night at a WJOX party I was privileged to meet the lovely Sara. Her husband Jay, former All-American, Christian Coalition, bright eyed and wholesome quarterback, showed up in an ORANGE plaid shirt with a grey vest and some funky embroidered blue jeans with cowboy boots. Nice.

Paul Finebaum, who was hanging with his brother-in-law Shane, asked “Where’s Jay’s ball cap?”

I asked Sara if she remembered Jay from his football days.

“Did you see him play in the Sugar Bowl?”

She paused for a second, thinking of something witty, I suppose, and said… “Uh…yeah, sure.”

Finebaum, deadpanned…pointing to Shane… “He watches it three times a day.”

Later F-Baum interviewed Sara for Fox 6 and asked her if she had a favorite Alabama quarterback.

“Brian Burgdorf,” she answered. Didn’t have to think about that one did she?

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I don’t know if Sara writes her own songs, but here are some lyrics from a song of hers called “The Great Unknown”

“Fire up the motor baby, I’m already packed.

I’ll ride shotgun, navigate, throw the cooler in the back. Let’s try to get us lost…Anywhere you want to go.

Come on show me the other side of the great unknown.”

Football season is upon us again. The greatest thing about it? …The unknown will soon be known. All the speculation and wishful thinking will be washed away with the tide of brutal reality. On “Sunday morning coming down,” we will no longer have to wonder how Alabama matched up against Clemson.

Here are a couple of opening games I’ll never forget.

Alabama vs. UCLA in 2000.

My brother and I ordered Full Moon barbecue, had a couple of ritual shots of Wild Turkey and settled in front of the tube as our highly ranked Tide seemed poised for a national championship run.

Freddie Milons returned a punt for a TD and the rout was on…NOT. UCLA beat Alabama in the Tide’s return to the Rose Bowl. The season went in the toilet. So much for high expectations.

Alabama vs. Southern Miss 1990.

Some buddies of mine and I were at Legion Filed for this one. Who is this “Favor” guy? “I think it’s pronounced Farve.” Our high school classmate Chris Anderson returns a kick for a TD but it’s called back by a penalty. Chris later fumbles a kick that Southern Miss recovers, setting up a go ahead score for the Eagles.

It was 100 degrees in the shade. After the game, sweating 86 proof bullets, we were all dazed. “Did we just LOSE to Southern Miss?”

Alabama vs. Georgia, Labor Day night 1985.

Alabama pushed Georgia around all night in a defensive game. Cornelius Bennett tackled everybody that came within ten yards of him. The Bulldogs blocked a punt late in the fourth and took the lead.

Mike Shula (yes, that Mike Shula) passed to Al Bell for a dramatic last second winning touchdown.

Alabama vs. Ohio State 1986 Kickoff Classic at the Meadowlands.

A young Derek Thomas almost blew the game for Alabama by committing several stupid pass interference penalties.

Quarterback Mike Shula (yes that Mike Shula) led the Tide to a 17-10 victory over the Buckeyes.

Alabama has not beaten a quality non-conference opponent in regular season play since the 1980s when the Tide played Penn State annually. The Clemson game is a great opportunity. The song I want to hear early and often Saturday night:
Yay! Alabama! Drown ‘em Tide!
Every man’s behind you, hit your stride!
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
If a man starts to weaken, that’s a shame.
Cause Bama’s pluck and grit has writ her name in Crimson Flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men.
Remember the Rose Bowl, we’ll….?????


Add Yours
  1. 1

    I’ll never forget that humiliating loss to Southern Miss in 1990.
    Coming off a 10 win season then we lose to Southern Miss in the first game of the season.
    That raised a lot of speculation and questions about Coach Stallings’ ability, but three years later that game was long forgotten.
    That was the most devastating loss until Northern Illinois and Louisiana Monroe came along.

  2. 2

    Gene Stallings and Nick Saban shared a lot of transitional coaching blues in their first season at Alabama. The records were similar and the losses were close but no cigar. In addition to that, Stallings had stunning victories over Auburn and Tennessee, while Saban had stunning victories over Tennessee and Arkansas. Stallings started the season off poorly, and Saban ended the regular season on a poor note. I’m like you, the Southern Miss loss was a tough pill to swallow, especially following a 10-2 record the year before. Today, the head-scratching losses aren’t too upsetting due to the fact that it’s following up an up and down era in this period of Alabama football. But back then it felt like someone kicked us in the testicles.

  3. 3


    You did not really just write about some B-list country singer on a football blog. Tell me you didn’t.

  4. 4
    Shane is a BLOGGER

    Hunter, you were dead on about one thing, Shame does watch the 92 game everyday with his little stuffed Big Al that FineScum and Bobby assaulted and poured beer on when they were in studio together.

  5. 5

    I heard you Kevin. I would not listen to Sara’s wailing if you held a gun on me. I’m glad that Jay married “well” this time around. Keep it real Hunter.

  6. 7

    Come on Kevin. You probably worshiped her until you got word she was marrying an exAlabama QB.

    I bet you hate Courtney Cox Arquette too.

  7. 8

    Barnies would disown Tuberville if he were to have lunch with Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa one evening, simply because he’s developing a friendship with a member of The University’s football team. More or less a famous alumni who didn’t attend The University. When will they cast out Taylor Hicks for publicly admitting he grew up an Alabama fan, even after graduating from Alabama Tech? He even said both universities are fine institutions for learning and he supports both. Yet, inwardly, they still hope to catch him in a back alley one night.

  8. 9

    Dude your so pathetically stupid, AS long as he beats him they can share WIFES for all i care. My best friend who would he me hide things and me the same ya know is a BAMMER!!! STFU about Grown folks knowledge lil boy

  9. 11

    What most of you Bama morons don’t understand is Tubs and Saban ARE friends. WE are the one’s that like to stir shit up. And as for Jay being married to Sara, you think that bothers me? Jay is a great guy, and yeah, thats comming from an Aubbie. If half of you showed half the class he does, then you would not be as much of a classless bunch you are.

  10. 12

    Excuse me? Do we hold up fingers? Are we trash talking on an Auburn board talking about a former players wife? We’re classless? Sorry man, that falls into the category of hypocrites.

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